CHICO, Calif. - Nearly 4,000 students will graduate over the course of the weekend from Chico State in the university's 129th commencement ceremonies.
The ceremonies kick off on Thursday, May 16, with more than 250 graduate students.
Undergraduate ceremonies will take place Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19.
The campus highlighted seven outstanding graduates ahead of this year's ceremonies.
He-Lo Ramirez, a senior biology major, has been presenting his research findings on native valley oak trees at conferences and universities around the nation. He was urged to submit his work to a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the California Botanical Society, Madroño.
Ramirez also worked with the university’s Facilities Management and Services to establish an ethnobotanical garden along Big Chico Creek. After graduation, he will continue his education with the RiSE program at Chico State’s School of Education.
Katie Rosauer went on three different major paths throughout her college experience, starting as a biology and mechanical engineering major at Butte College, and is now graduating as an exercise physiology major at Chico State.
She and her colleagues created Medspire, a mobile clinic that provides free healthcare to those impacted by the Camp Fire. She is currently applying for Physician Assistant programs, with hopes to one day become a physician’s assistant.
Mary Gibaldi, who is graduating with her Master’s, focused her English studies on the subject of space in literary worlds.
After graduation, she will serve on a panel with Chico State English professor Nathaniel Bryant at the Working-Class Studies Association Conference in England.
One of the biggest struggles she faced during her studies was that her husband fled the Camp Fire, which destroyed their belongings and her husband's business.
After graduating, she will be relocating to begin the PhD program at Ohio State University.
Jaime Valdovinos left his home in Mexico alone at age 17 to pursue an education. Now a first-generation college graduate eyeing law school, he hopes to be an example for his 14 siblings.
After graduating, Valdovinos will hold a position as an immigration services officer with US Citizenship and Immigration Services. He hopes it will prepare him for law school and a career as an agricultural attorney.
Brett Day is a Chico State senior graduating with a degree in fine arts. He has an appetite for travel and a love of printmaking.
Day said he’s applied for every institute, scholarship, and apprenticeship opportunity he’s come across during his time at Chico State. He eventually wants to graduate school and teach art at the college level. In the meantime, he will work in the Janet Turner Print Museum teach grade-schoolers the fundamentals of printmaking at Chico Schoolhouse Art.
Kimani Davis II
Kimani Davis, a graduating senior, has been a mentor for diverse communities across campus.
He has worked for various clubs and organizations on campus such as The Men of CHICO, Safe Place and the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center (CCLC).
Davis is considering graduate school, but he also recently accepted a job offer at the Boys and Girls Club of the North Valley.
Alisha Sharma, a senior business administration major and Associated Students president, discovered a talent for leadership during her time at Chico State.
As a freshman, she became involved with the Freshman Leadership Opportunity (FLO), which allowed her to be more involved in student government.
Long term, Sharma wants to work in higher education or public administration. After graduation, she will be starting a job with Linkedin in San Francisco.